The Golden State Warriors further cemented their bright future on Saturday, agreeing to contract extensions for fourth-year guard Jordan Poole and 2022 All-Star Andrew Wiggins.
While Warrior fans basked in the glory of the players’ commitment, and that of majority owner Joe Lacob, opposition fans were left questioning the fairness of the NBA’s salary cap rules.
If Draymond Green were to opt into his player option for next season, the Warriors will be spending a combined salary and luxury tax bill of $483 million. That’s for 12 contracted players, meaning the number could explode past $500 million for the final roster. For context, that’s more than the $450 million that Lacob bought the entire franchise for in 2010.
The Golden State Warriors’ desire for sustained success is unmatched across world sports, even if it comes at the expense of public opinion.
The Poole and Wiggins deals aren’t the only decisions that have been met with negativity over the past seven days. If it wasn’t already clear before, we’re now getting a full picture of the Warriors’ desire to win, and the priority that takes in almost every organizational decision.
Coach Steve Kerr announced on Tuesday that Green would return to the team after his altercation with Poole ten days prior. The decision not to suspend the 4-time All-Star was met with shock among most, particularly after the emergence of the stunning video that more than proved the incident’s severity.
Make no mistake, that decision, perhaps most pushed by the players, was made through the desire to win. The team understands that, at least for now, they can’t do that without Green somewhere near his best.
A suspension could have alienated and frustrated Green, just like it did in the wake of his one-game internal ban for the notable altercation with Kevin Durant in 2019. There’s little doubt it would have further separated the 32-year-old from the remainder of the playing group.
His return restores some connection, even if there’ll be some awkward and testing times ahead. It quickens the process of re-establishing trust and comradery — whichever Green prefers — a necessary element to any championship team.
If that decision was about winning, so too were their minor roster moves, even if it left their own fans dismayed and disappointed. The Warriors have released Lester Quinones and Quinndary Weatherspoon from their two-way contracts, with the latter’s axing a major surprise.
Still, fans may have happily expected one of those spots to go to Pat Spencer, the former Lacrosse player who endeared himself to Dubnation over the preseason. But no, the two-way deals are now held by arguably the two least-desirable options among fans – Ty Jerome and Anthony Lamb.
Between the Wiggins and Poole extensions, Green’s non-suspension, and the two-way contracts, Golden State continue to act with the exclusive intention of winning. It’s almost become second nature to them at this point, and they do it with little care for the thoughts of anyone in the outside world.